The House on Mango Street quote assignment

The House on Mango Street Assignment
Pg. 5 “There. I had to look where she pointed -- the third floor, the paint peeling, wooden
bars Papa had nailed on the windows so we wouldn’t fall out. You live there? The way
she said it made me feel like nothing. There. I lived there. I nodded. I knew then I had to
have a house. A real house. One I could point to. But this isn’t it. The house on Mango
Street isn’t it.”
This quote represents the very beginning of Esperanza’s journey to self-identity. She is
embarrassed to admit that she lives in the small apartment. This embarrassment continues
even after her family buys the house on Mango Street. She always wanted a house but when
her family finally gets one she is still unhappy. Esperanza realizes that she wants more for
herself than just a house. She wants a life that she can be proud of in a place that she can
make her own.
Pg. 61 “That’s very good, she said in her tired voice. You just remember to keep writing,
Esperanza. You must keep writing. It will keep you free, and I said yes, but at that time I
didn’t know what she meant.”
When Esperanza’s aunt advises her to continue writing, she is still at the beginning of her
journey. She doesn’t realize the significance that writing holds. The aunt wants Esperanza to
write because it is one thing that others cannot control. She is free to be herself and express her
dreams in writing. As the story and journey progress, Esperanza becomes more aware of how
seldom women have freedom within her neighborhood.
Pg. 75 “When I am too sad and too skinny to keep keeping, when I am a tiny thing against
so many bricks, then it is I look at trees. When there is nothing left to look at on this
street. Four who grew despite concrete. Four who reach and do not forget to reach. Four
whose only reason is to be and be.”
I love this quote. I think the trees give Esperanza hope in her journey. She compares herself to
the trees. If these trees can grow despite being planted in concrete than Esperanza can grow no
matter what neighborhood or culture she comes from. She has a reason and a purpose and just
like the trees she must keep reaching and reaching until she achieves her own goals and
Pg. 87 “One day I’ll own my own house, but I won’t forget who I am or where I came from.
Passing bums will ask, Can I come in? I’ll offer them the attic, ask them to stay, because I
know how it feels to be without a house.”
Esperanza vows to never treat others the way she was once treated. Rather than making the
bums feel bad for being bums, she will invite them into her home. She understands the
hardships individuals face while struggling to find their identity and wants to help. Offering them
a house is the first step to finding a home. Just like Mango Street was simply a house, it quickly
led Esperanza to the realization that she wanted and needed to get out and create a better life
for herself.
Pg. 110 “One day I will pack my bags of books and paper. One day I will say goodbye to
Mango. I am too strong for her to keep me here forever. One day I will go away. Friends
and neighbors will say, What happened to that Esperanza? Where did she go with all
those books and paper? Why did she march so far away? They will not know I have gone
away to come back. For the ones I left behind. For the ones who cannot out.”
This quote shows how full circle Esperanza’s journey to self-identity has come. At the beginning
of the novel she was ashamed of who she was and where she came from. Now in this quote,
readers can see that Esperanza is determined to help improve her neighborhood and save
those that she loves. She realizes that in order to make a change in the world she must first
make a change in herself.
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